On Thursday 27 February, all three political parties came together in a show of unity and proposed a joint amendment that offers additional funding to restore Madeira Terraces.
Within this amendment, extra funding of £200,000 a year has been dedicated to the project.
The restoration of the terrace has support from all parties and strong support from the public, with the restoration providing an opportunity to bring positive social and wellbeing benefits to the Eastern Seafront.
In the first year, financial year 2020/2021, this £200,000 will be split into two pots for early planning work.
£100,000 will be used to fund the development of a masterplan and enabling work for the Madeira Terrace, Black Rock and Gasworks sites, creating a joined-up plan for the seafront.
£100,000 will be used to fund design, feasibility and business case studies for exploring the commercial uses of the terrace, including estimating the likely income streams that could support management and maintenance and further restoration of the full structure in the future.
In the year 2021/2022, the £200,000 dedicated to the Madeira Terraces project will go towards borrowing a further £4.3m for the project.
This sum of £4.3m is on top of to the £2.440m already allocated to the project, which includes the £440,000 raised by the community, meaning that £6.740m is dedicated to the project in total.
Possible extra funding through commercial investment
The final part of the funding, possibly up to an extra £6.7m capital funding for Madeira Terrace, is dependent on making commercial investments in the city.
As this funding is reliant on commercial property being available and then income from that commercial property, this is a longer-term possibility rather than a guarantee of funding now.
To raise the extra £6.7m, we will invest £40m in commercial properties in the city, growing the amount of commercial assets we own to generate further income for the council.
This larger portfolio will generate an estimated extra net income stream of £315,000, as long as there are suitable, available opportunities to invest in properties.
This extra income from a larger commercial portfolio will then be used to secure borrowing to invest more money into Madeira Terrace which could be up to an extra £6.7m,
If this is possible the funding would not be available until, at earliest, financial year 2021/2022.
Story so far
Madeira Terrace is a Grade 2 listed, 865-metre-long stretch of seafront arches on Madeira Drive in Brighton.
Originally built in the late 1800s, it has been closed to the public since 2012 as the structure has been degraded by the marine environment and become unsafe.
The Madeira Terrace restoration project aims to restore the arches and create a new sustainable leisure, social and business space sensitive to the terraces original design.
Plans led by the council in partnership with the local community will involve the restoration of the terrace in phases.
The project forms the backdrop to the restoration of the eastern seafront.
A watershed moment
This move has excited council group leaders and residents alike. Councillor Nancy Platts, Leader of the council said: “Our community here in Brighton & Hove has been amazing.
“I want to give special thanks to the Advisory Panel set up to aid the project, as well as the Save Madeira Terraces Raffle Group for all their hard work, and to everyone who donated to the crowdfunding project.
“I consider this a watershed moment, all three parties have come together to find funding and resources for a masterplan, and this is a really positive step to help fund a reawakening for the Madeira Terrace arches.
“From Shelter Hall to Black Rock, this council is investing in and rejuvenating our heritage sites.”
Jax Atkins, of the Madeira Terrace Advisory Panel said: “I am gloriously happy to see the idea to raise additional money for Madeira Terraces has been approved by all parties and that they will now work together to ensure that this is realised.”